Category Archives: Places to visit

Top Places for Cottage Holidays this September and October

Cottage holidays aren’t just for summer time. In fact, it can be even more important to get away outside of summer to keep your spirits up and to keep that sunny feeling. September and even October can still offer bright sunny days and can be a wonderful time to get out and explore the great outdoors. Why not book a short cottage reak and get away for a long weekend this September or October?

1. Britain’s National Parks

Burley village, New Forest National Park

Pretty Burley village in the New Forest National Park

For getting out and enjoying outdoor activities, cottage holidays in Britain’s National Parks can be perfect. Whether you choose to discover England’s, Scotland’s, Wales’ or Ireland’s parks, you will find that each offers its own unique appeal and landscape. With safe walking paths to guide you around and cycle paths available in some, as well as bridle paths, these nationally beautiful areas are wonderful for enjoying walking, cycling and horse riding, as well as a choice of other outdoor activities.

2. Britain’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Dunstable Downs in the Chilterns

Dunstable Downs in the Chiltern Hills

With so many to choose from, Britain’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) are just wonderful for self-catering holidays where you can enjoy spending quality time with friends and family. Whether you head for forested areas, areas of stunning countryside, moorlands or coastline, you should find Britain’s AONBs enchanting places to spend time and like the National Parks, these are wonderful areas to enjoy a range of outdoor activities. On high up areas, activities like kite flying may be on offer and are great fun for adults and children alike. Dunstable Downs in the Chiltern Hills has to be one of the very best naturally beautiful areas for this sort of activity.

3. The Coast

Aberdeenshire Coast Cruden Bay

Aberdeenshire Coast by Cruden Bay

As an island, Britain is blessed with an expansive and stunning coastline. Why not enjoy a cottage break by the beach this September or October? Days out by the seaside aren’t just for summer. Fun activities like jumping from sand-dunes, paddling, throwing pebbles in to the sea, walking and breathing in that wonderful sea air aren’t just for summer. As a real treat why not book some horse riding along the beach, for a truly romantic notion.

Best of Britains Green and Gorgeous Gardens

Wonderful British gardens

Step out in to wonderful British gardens

When it comes to ‘blooming’ marvellous gardens, Britain has some of the very best. With bountiful greenery, Britain is renowned for its countryside and gardens. What’s more, when it comes to outstanding gardens, these aren’t just found in the country, there are many wonderful secret gardens in cities, brightening up what can otherwise seem in cities to be a man-made landscape. Whilst enjoying a cottage holiday, there are a variety of fantastic gardens that you can visit to help make your holiday all the more enjoyable.


Our Pick of the Best

When it comes to identifying Britain’s best gardens, there are some obvious choices such as Kew Gardens in London with their extensive and exotic collections. In our collection though we’ve picked some of the perhaps less well known but incredibly wonderful gardens hidden away in Britain, making them all the more wonderful when you come across them.

  1. Hidden and Secret Gardens

There is something wonderfully special about hidden gardens that only certain people are in the know about. Local knowledge can be key when it comes to discovering hidden and secret gardens which are well kept secrets. These hidden gardens can also be found in the most surprising of places. One of the very best hidden gardens can be found in London. Temple Gardens are award winning gardens. Hidden within Inner Temple are 3 acres of gardens which include a rare collection of trees as well as colourful flowers in season.  For a true oasis in the city, Temple Gardens are an absolute gem.

2. Walled Gardens

Wonderful walled garden

Walled gardens, wonderful places

There are a number of walled gardens within the collections of the National Trust and English Heritage, many of which form part of larger gardens. There is something about walled gardens giving a feeling of safety and a sense of seclusion in an oasis, far from the noise and hubbub of the world beyond. Some of the wonderful walled gardens to visit in Britain include Helmsley Walled Garden, in the heart of North Yorkshire with its lovely assortment of plants and flowers right next to Helmsley Castle. With 5 acres to explore, there are plenty of green and colourful displays to see here.

3. National Trust Gardens

Wisteria in National Trust's Greys Court gardens

Beautiful wisteria in National Trust’s Greys Court gardens


If you’re not a member of the National Trust you may be unaware that the National Trust protects and cares for some of the best gardens in the country. From historical houses with wildflower meadows to country houses with perfectly manicured landscaped gardens, the National Trust has an impressive range of gardens. One of our favourites is Greys Court close to Henley on Thames. With a network of connected gardens including walled gardens, vegetable gardens and secret gardens, these gardens are wonderful whatever the season and with benches and paths to guide you through, are wonderful places to visit. The wisteria which is hundreds of years old is particularly special. Entrance to these garden is of course free to National Trust members.

4. Royal Horticultural Society Gardens

For those with a real passion for being green fingered, the collection of gardens run by and in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society have to be some of the very best. The RHS has 4 of their own gardens at Wisley, Hyde Hall, Harlow Carr and Rosemoor and there are also 145 partner gardens throughout the country to choose from. Entry is free at partnership gardens for RHS members.


5. Historic Houses Gardens

Stonor Park Gardens

Stonor Park Stunning Gardens complete with water-lillies and dragonflies

The country homes that come under the Historic Houses Association are very special places. Like National Trust properties many of these historical homes have simply outstanding gardens and what makes these all the more special is that many are less visited and less well known than National Trust properties meaning that you have more chance of being able to share them without large groups of other people. Walking around these wonderful gardens with the added bonus of peace and tranquillity and no crowds really adds to the enjoyment factor for many. In fact some of these gardens could even be called secret gardens as many are usually only enjoyed by the families that own these wonderful historical homes and can only be visited by Historic Houses members on specific dates.


Top Destinations for Cottage Holidays

Now is the time of year when we all start thinking about where on earth to go for our next holiday. We can help inspire you on possible destinations to visit as we have visited and reviewed many areas. The UK is home to some fantastic countryside including moors, valleys, forests and downs as well as historical towns and villages, cities as well as a beautiful coastline. Let our destination guides on England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland help guide you on what the different countries of the UK have to offer.  When it comes to types of accommodation, top choices include family cottages and holiday parks which with their excellent shared facilities can be just perfect for families.

Britain’s National Parks – Special Places for Cottage Holidays

The National Parks in the UK and Ireland are often referred to as Britain’s breathing spaces.  With acres and acres of unspoilt countryside, these parks have to be some of the top places to go for rural retreat breaks.  What makes these places so inspirational you may wonder?  Well for one, these parks offer a variety of unique landscapes such as meadows, woodlands, wetlands and mountains which can be ideal places to explore on romantic breaks or family getaways.  For more information on what these special places have to offer for cottage holidays see our cottage holiday guide on England’s National Parks.  More information on the national parks of Wales, Ireland and Scotland coming soon!

Best country areas to visit on summer cottage holidays

Now that some good hot weather has arrived you may be thinking of places to go for cottage holidays.  Many people like the idea of immersing themselves in pleasant, peaceful rural settings.  If a rural retreat is your cup of tea then why not take a look at some of our recommendations on some of the best country areas to visit in the UK.  Britain is indeed a green and pleasant land.  For most of us there are always new towns and villages to discover and lots of things to see and do.  With this great weather we trust that you will find the inspiration to visit the British countryside and try new things.

Top rated places for countryside breaks

When it comes to rural self catering holidays which are the best areas in the UK to visit?  Some people like to spend time in Britain’s National Parks where they can be assured of protected woods, moorlands, mountains and more.  These places are known as Britain’s breathing spaces.  Others opt for areas of outstanding natural beauty which are nationally recognised areas which many enjoy due to their pristine qualities.  There are 46 of these and efforts are made to safeguard these for all to enjoy.  Others still head for countryside which is less discovered and less well known.  If you need some inspiration take a look at our free guide on Best Country Areas.  Wherever you go, have a wonderful cottage holiday.

Rural Breaks

Breaks in rural Britain can be great experiences whatever the time of year.  Many people enjoy rural pursuits.  Whether you enjoy fishing, walking or cycling, rural Britain has lots to offer.  If you like the idea of a log cabin stay why not take a look at Waterloo Farm Leisure in Northamptonshire.   This holiday park has a fishing lake, log cabins, as well as a park for caravans near delightful wheat fields.

Best Places to visit in the UK

With the recent sunny weather the UK may well have been one of the best places to visit in Europe.  In terms of good places to visit though where would you recommend.  Let us have your feedback and recommendations on the best places to go and the best things to see in the UK.  We may well then feature the suggestion in one of our area guides.

Visiting local museums when taking a cottage break

Remember when visiting a new area that local museums can be a real mine of information.  Many contain fascinating photos and more.  One great bonus of going away in the UK is that a good number of museums offer free entry still, although local museums may need to charge a small entry fee.  Also remember that by visiting these places you are doing your bit to support the community.  If you are taking a self catering break in London you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to museums.  There is so much choice.  There are so many to explore and so many fascinating things to see.  Remember if you have any tips that would help others, let us have your feedback.  We love to hear reviews and recommendations.

Best UK Holiday Destinations?

Did you know that in the most recent British Travel Awards Cornwall won the prestigious Best UK region award?  Not only that, St Ives also won the award of the best seaside town in the UK.  With accolades like that, who wouldn’t love to take a self catering country cottage holiday in Cornwall?  The Eden project of course is also a big attraction in Cornwall and the Lizard Pensinsula is a recognised area of outstanding natural beauty.  Of course winning an award doesn’t necessarily mean that Cornwall is the best place in the UK to holiday.  What constitutes the best place will differ depending on who you ask.  Some people love the solitude, peace and beauty of Scotland for example and some love to return to the same resort year after year because a certain place just captures their heart.  But one thing is for sure, from the British Travel Awards, Cornwall comes highly recommended.